Letter: Mayoral manifesto

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The Independent Culture
Sir: As a Labour Party member for over 30 years - I was one of the small group on the infamous Greater London Labour Party Executive in the late 1980s that organised against the left to remove the embarrassment that the London Labour Party was causing the leadership - I have found the shenanigans in recent months over the selection of a candidate for London mayor quite incredible.

Surely when the mayoral election takes place it will be based not on the 1997 general election manifesto but on a newly written manifesto which the successful mayoral candidate will play a leading role in defining. This manifesto will be of course subject to approval by the Labour Party before it becomes the document around which London Labour Party members will campaign.

It is therefore quite right that any mayoral candidate should and will be completely committed to that manifesto.

However, it is not surprising in the selection process that different candidates will put forward different views as to how key issues should be tackled - including London Underground financing.

I was interested to attend the Fabian Society fringe meeting at the Labour Party conference in Bournemouth to listen to how the three then-declared candidates - Ken Livingstone, Glenda Jackson and Trevor Phillips - answered the question on London Underground financing.

Glenda Jackson as the then-establishment candidate supported the government line while Trevor Phillips, who is now Frank Dobson's running mate, supported Ken Livingstone.

MIKE PARKER

Hexham, Northumberland

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